How fast and efficiently would traffic move on an expressway if it were constantly mired in multiple back-ups and bottlenecks?
Your spine is the superhighway upon which nerve impulses travel from your brain, down through your body, and back again. In order for your body to function at its best, there must be a clear pathway of communication along the entire route from the brain to the target tissue. When nerve impulses are hindered by subluxations (misaligned vertebra) they slow like backed up traffic.
To be at your healthiest means living unsubluxated, with full expression of life from your brain to your body. The adjustment corrects the subluxation, but maintaining your healthiest life also requires that you support the adjustment outside the office.
Remember, there are 3 primary causes of subluxations: physical causes, chemical causes, and emotional causes.
This post will address how to deal with the physical causes of subluxations. We will follow up with chemical and emotional causes in subsequent posts.
In order to prevent physical causes of subluxations, we need to identify what they are. The obvious physical triggers are slips and falls, sporting injuries, auto accidents, and the like. But if preventing subluxations were as simple as saying, “Don’t fall,” we’d have a lot less people struggling with chronic health problems.
What really wrecks our bodies are the insidious daily patterns of poor posture and movement that we continue to put ourselves in. After all, how many auto accidents have you been in? Even if you’ve endured a dozen collisions, that doesn’t even begin to compare to the number of days lived out hunched over a computer screen or crouched over an assembly line. Not to mention the effects of our poor sleeping habits, bending, twisting, and lifting improperly, and so on. Repeatedly do these things with disregard, and your health is guaranteed to suffer for it.
It’s time to take stock of what you’re doing to your body during the day. Before you can correct poor movement patterns, you need to identify them. Pay attention to where you are investing most of your time during the day, and then think about what positions your body is in while you’re doing so. Are you sitting at a desk all day? Do you spend your workday in your car? Are you pretzeled up on the couch for hours on end?
Once you’ve identified the offending behavior, correcting it usually means putting your body in the reverse posture. For example, most desk jockeys end up with forward head carriage, front rounding of the shoulders, and hunching at the mid back. To start, you would want to make sure that you set yourself up with correct ergonomics while working so that you don’t continually exacerbate poor posture. Then you’ll want to actively engage in opening up the front of your body by laying on your back over an exercise ball, foam rolling your mid back, or walking yourself into a corner with outstretched arms. Finally, you’ll want to strengthen the muscles in your upper back and rear shoulders to hold your body in a healthier position.
Confused about how to correct your particular posture pattern? Just envision a healthy spine. Remember that it should be straight up and down from the front or back, and should have 3 sweeping curves from the side. Whatever you’re doing, try to support the spine’s natural shape. This might mean using a support under your neck or low back, or working to correct a sideways lean in your posture.
Physical causes of subluxation are not a one time thing. They are an everyday thing. But with a little know-how and persistence, you can work to minimize the effects of detrimental body mechanics.
Image credits to stock images, imagerymajestic, and David Castillo Dominici @ freedigitalphotos.net